top
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Sat Apr 7 2007
The Home Front: Resistance Spreads as Iraq Veterans Return
Sat Apr 7 2007
The Home Front: Resistance Spreads as Iraq Veterans Return
When Jeff Englehart, Thomas Cassidy, and Joe Hatcher joined the Army in early 2001 they were looking for a change of pace and some college money. A few months later, however, the Twin Towers were smoldering, the ‘war on terror’ was growing from their ashes, and what it meant to be a US soldier was changed dramatically. They three strangers met in the Army and soon found themselves stationed in Iraq, where they served in and around the violent Sunni Triangle from February 2004 until February 2005.

In addition to the ways of war, the Army taught them a lot about power, militarism, capitalism, and resistance. This rapid politicization left the three fighting on behalf of a government they didn’t believe in with little choice but to just wait for their three-year enlistments to be over. While still in Iraq, Englehart and Hatcher joined Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW); Cassidy followed suit soon after returning. Now they are tireless anti-war activists, dedicated full time to sharing their stories and ending all US aggression abroad. Fault Lines talked with them about their time in Iraq and their work since when they stopped in Berkeley as part of a recent West Coast mini-tour.

FL: I know that you're very politically engaged right now. But what kind of political awareness did you have when you joined the Army?

JE: Absolutely none. If I'd had any political awareness I wouldn't have even considered putting on the uniform of a United States soldier. My political education didn't come until I got to my unit. Basically what I realized real quick was I didn't like the army for its authority and its authoritative structure and I learned real quick what can happen when you’re placed in a situation when authority is rampant and it's in the hands of irresponsible people. I started reading books that were in opposition to what the military was doing across the globe—books like Chomsky and Howard Zinn, Emma Goldman, Kropotkin, things of that nature. Before I even got to Iraq I was aware of what was happening in the world just from reading these great books. But when you're tied to a system that governs you and rules you by fear, and the punishment for speaking out or acting against the grain can be jail, that fear over your head kept me in line enough to go to Iraq.

FL: How did this politicization affect your relationship to other soldiers?

Read More
01/16/17 120 Hours of Direct Action Across the Bay Area to Reclaim King's Legacy & Reject Trump Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Labor & Workers | San Francisco | East Bay | Government & Elections | Immigrant Rights01/14/17 State's Proposal Shrugs Off Voters' Approval of Ban on Oil Waste Injection Front Page | Environment & Forest Defense | California | Government & Elections | Santa Cruz Indymedia01/14/17 Fruitvale Community Further Marginalized in Politicization of Ghost Ship Fire Racial Justice | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Arts + Action | East Bay01/14/17 Lead Poisoning in Oakland's Fruitvale District Is Worse Than Flint Front Page | Environment & Forest Defense | Racial Justice | Health, Housing, and Public Services | East Bay01/02/17 National Day of Action to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal After New U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | East Bay | U.S. | International12/25/16 Christmastime Protest Attempts to Cross Checkpoint Between Bethlehem and Jerusalem Front Page | International | Palestine12/20/16 Santa Cruz County Ranked Second for Agricultural Pesticide Illnesses in 2014 Front Page | Environment & Forest Defense | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Central Valley | California | Government & Elections | Santa Cruz Indymedia12/19/16 Civil Rights Groups Sue Caltrans to Stop Illegal Raids Against California’s Homeless Front Page | Police State and Prisons | Health, Housing, and Public Services | San Francisco | East Bay | California | Government & Elections12/18/16 Hundreds March, Rally, Demand $15 and a Union at the San Francisco Airport Front Page | Labor & Workers | San Francisco | U.S.12/18/16 Senator Boxer Calls Corporate Agribusiness Rider to Water Bill a "Devastating Maneuver" Front Page | Environment & Forest Defense | Central Valley | California | U.S. | Government & Elections12/18/16 #DisruptJ20: Nationwide and Bay Area Call-outs for General Strike Against Trump Front Page | Labor & Workers | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Education & Student Activism | Womyn | Central Valley | San Francisco | South Bay | East Bay | Peninsula | North Bay / Marin | California | U.S. | Government & Elections | Santa Cruz Indymedia
Related Categories: U.S. | Anti-War | Fault Lines
EPA Analysis: 97 Percent of Endangered Species Threatened by Two Common Pesticides Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Jan 18th 9:11 PM
Fordham Bans Students for Justice in Palestine via Palestine Legal (1 comment) Wednesday Jan 18th 5:36 PM
USDA Grants Final Approval for Invasive GE Grass Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday Jan 17th 4:50 PM
Against Trump or Against Capitalism? ICP Tuesday Jan 17th 10:07 AM
Bang the Pots, Rise a Din Helen Vozenilek et al Monday Jan 16th 6:11 PM
Trump and the Consequences: Democracy at a Crossroads Albrecht von Luecke Sunday Jan 15th 9:12 AM
Should someone 5150 Trump for being a threat to himself and everyone else? Lynda Carson (1 comment) Saturday Jan 14th 8:19 PM
Nuclear Shutdown News January 2017 Michael Steinberg Thursday Jan 12th 3:29 PM
Prison Strike Organizers to Protest Food Giant Aramark Kamala Kelkar, SF Bay View Sunday Jan 8th 9:10 PM
SignStorm San Jose Leah Jay Friday Jan 6th 10:28 AM
Nuclear Shutdown News December 2016 Michael Steinberg Wednesday Jan 4th 10:35 PM
Jane Fonda Divests From Wells Fargo Ross Plesset Tuesday Jan 3rd 7:44 PM
Hundreds in Seattle, Oakland Kick Off National Earth2Trump Resistance Roadshow Tour Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday Jan 3rd 5:07 PM
The Good Life for All - A Useful Utopia Alexandra Strickner (1 comment) Sunday Jan 1st 8:56 AM
Roots of Renewal: Amy Fottrell and Lilith Winkler-Schor WTUL New Orleans 91.5 News & Views Wednesday Dec 21st 12:14 AM
President Grants Commutations to 153 Federal Prisoners, Including Paul Free and Steven Speal American Civil Liberties Union (1 comment) Monday Dec 19th 6:26 PM
More News...